Located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, Agumbe is a tiny village often referred to as the "Cherrapunji of South India". This biodiversity-rich region highest rainfall in south India and the second highest annual rainfall in India. Visiting Agumbe is an enriching experience as this hill station and picturesque beauty coupled with trekking trails and gushing rainfalls. It is one of the last surviving lowland rainforests. This beautiful place served as the setting for India's very famous fictional town Malgudi in the TV serial Malgudi Days. Agumbe is famously known for the breathtaking sunsets over the Arabian Sea that can be witnessed from this region.
Agumbe is home to some rare species of medicinal plants like Myristica, Listsaea, Garcinia, Diospyros, Eugenia and Ficus which is why it is also known as "Hasiru Honnu" which means green is gold. This place has made a significant contribution towards the protection of biodiversity in India. Being home to the extensive rainforest and the wide variety of flora and fauna, Agumbe houses the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station. This is India's oldest weather station which exclusively monitors any changes made in the rainforest areas.
Interestingly, Agumbe is also called as the "Cobra Capital" because of the high number of Cobras found here. Tourists from all over flock to this mesmerising place to experience tranquillity. Agumbe provides great options for trekking beckoning the adventure enthusiasts to visit this offbeat destination hidden in the lap of nature.
Waterfalls in Agumbe
Agumbe is famous for the waterfalls located here which provide a scintillating and awe-inspiring view of the surrounding hills. Because of the heavy rainfall, there are many waterfalls situated close to one another.
Kunchikal Falls: Formed by the river Varahi and falling from a height of 455 metres, this is one of the highest waterfalls in India. Cascading on the rocky boulders, the Kunchikal Falls are an impressive sight to behold. A hydroelectric plant is located under the waterfall which generates high power electricity for the region. This is a perfect location to enjoy the beauty of nature.
Barkana Falls: This is the tenth highest waterfall in India, located in the Balehalli forest area. Barkana falls has a height of 850 ft, and originates from the Seeta River that flows through this region. The water of this fall is used to power a hydroelectric system making it one of the prime sources of hydroelectricity in Karnataka region. Loacted in the midst of dense forest, it offers a spectacular sight.
Onake Abbi Falls: This waterfall can be reached after trekking for 5km through the rainforests. Since it is located at 400 ft, it is possible to get a spectacular view of the entire falls once you reach the top.
Koodlu Theertha Falls: This waterfall can be reached from the Sunset Point. Located at a distance of 20 km from the main town of Agumbe, it is a picturesque trek through the dense jungles to the Koodlu Theertha falls.
Jogigundi Falls: It is one of the most preferred locations for a trek in this region. Jogigundi falls is a small waterfall located near Agumbe, and it is filled with water for the most part of the year.
Places To Visit in Agumbe
Gopala Krishna Temple: This is a 14th-century temple located in Agumbe which has great importance in the region. This temple attracts a considerable number of tourists from all over to this small hamlet. This temple is built with the perfection of Vaastu and is known for its stunning sculptures. There are 108 steps leading from the basement to the Garbha Griha symbolising the 108 names of Lord Krishna.
Sunset Point: One of the most famous places in Agumbe, the sunset point is one of the highest peaks of the Western Ghats offering a bewitching view of the setting sun on the horizon of the Arabian Sea. This place is only a 10-minute walk from the main town. It is often flocked by tourists visiting Agumbe who spend a peaceful time here, away from the noise of the big cities.
River Rafting in Sita Nadi River, Agumbe
A one of a kind experience in perhaps one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, the Sita Nadi river rafting is an unparalleled experience. The rafting experience on the wild Sita River gives you a thrill that you will not forget for a lifetime. The wild river, the green surroundings, a pounding heart and wet clothes- that's rafting at Sita Nadi for you. Considered to be one of the must-do activities if in Karnataka the river rafting activity at the Sita River has become quite an adventure for many.
Sita Nadi starting near Agumbe, a small hamlet in Shimoga district of Karnataka, is a river with a wild fury and dancing waters which makes it perfect for some high-intensity river rafting. The river rafting starts at Agumbe and carries on along the 70 km stretch of the mighty river. There are many adventure travel companies which provide exclusive packages for rafting sometimes coupled with trekking to nearby hills. The rafting lengths range from 16-18 km to 22-28 km covering mild and strong rapids, the organizers take care of all safety needs ensuring access to all age groups.
Tips For Visiting Agumbe
1. Agumbe is the second wettest place in India and therefore carry adequate raincoats, umbrellas etc.
2. Do not wear cotton while rafting, wear synthetic or polyester fibre clothes. Women should avoid wearing sarees.
3. Don't forget to try the crispy Masala Vada (Ambode), Kashaya and the vanilla-flavoured tea which are regional specialities.